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Jordan Ward is St. Louis proud even after 8 years — and dance success — in LA

Ricky Alvarez

Jordan Ward left south St. Louis for Los Angeles when he was 18 to propel his dance career. And it worked — he’s since shared the stage with Janet Jackson and Beyonce and toured with Justin Bieber. But the past few years he’s also been exploring another passion: music.

Ward debuted his first EP, “A Peak at the Summit,” in 2017 and released his first full-length album, “Valley Hopefuls,” two years later. Earlier this month, he dropped his latest EP, “Remain Calm.”

Ward, 26, joined Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air to talk about his music and dance journey. He also shared the impetus for the five-track “Remain Calm,” which he said takes its title from his personal mantra.

Jordan Ward - Lil Baby Crush (Official Video)

“As I'm going through this human experience, there's a calm or there's a spirit, as some people describe it, in the middle of it that has the understanding that I need. I'm not going to know everything, but if I just be still, I’ll receive the answers,” Ward said.

The album balances lighthearted human experiences with more serious matters. “Lil Baby Crush” is about swooning over a love interest, while “Thrive” tackles what Ward described as something akin to a spiritual journey.

“It's about the inner and outer expansion on the human level — going inward to connect to the source and going outward to connect with the source,” he explained. “I think this song is just about understanding what we go through as humans and what it is all for: There's going to be pain, there's going to be hard times, but it serves a purpose for when we leave.”

Jordan Ward is St. Louis proud even after 8 years — and dance success — in LA

Ward is a true St. Louis booster who said he’s been enjoying his latest visit back home ahead of his concert at the Blueberry Hill Duck Room this Thursday. He’s been teaching dance classes, collaborating with other local creatives and sharing some of his favorite spots around town on social media as part of his pop-up collaboration with clothing brand Profield Reserve.

“The creative scene has just been going crazy for years. But even since I've become involved in it, it's been going insane. People have been innovating and building their own lanes, and Profield Reserve in the last year has kind of created a new hub,” Ward said. Even before the collab, he said: “I was already a fan of them bringing something like that to my part of town. We never had that as a kid, so that's why I was just excited.”

Ward noted that somewhere along the way of his journey, fans got the impression he was from Los Angeles. His collaboration with the Cherokee Street brand was a way to pay homage to his roots.

“The merch kind of tells a story of how I grew up throughout the city, and just my love for it,” Ward said.

For interested fans, clothing items from the collaboration are available at Profield Reserve now through Wednesday (with leftover gear available at Thursday's show).

Related Event
What: Jordan Ward ft. pinkcaravan! & Soufside Jerie
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, MO 63130

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. Jane Mather-Glass is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Lara is the Engagement Editor at St. Louis Public Radio.